Some Louisiana farmers thrilled at what warmer weather has produced

Some Louisiana farmers thrilled at what warmer weather has produced

PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Some local farmers had a good 2016, thanks to the warmer-than-usual weather we've been seeing.

If you've noticed that some produce at your local grocery store looks bigger than usual, you're right - it is. Plaquemines Parish farmer Matt Ranatza says the warmer weather has been good for business.

"This year in Plaquemines particularly, because we hadn't had all the flooding, it was just a perfect year for vegetables and row crops and citrus," Ranatza said. "This was the most satsumas I ever cut by far."

He's also harvesting giant cauliflower and cabbage.

"It was never really cold late in the spring, and it hasn't been cold early in the fall so all the eggplants and peppers and tomatoes could just keep growing. And really, when you get to that 80 and 60 degree temperature range, that's plants' favorite time," Ranatza said. "We had way too much rain in July and August, we could not get in the field so all the work I normally do in July I did in September and August, so that's why I probably have another 10 to 12 acres of cabbage and cauliflower I haven't even cut yet."

The warm weather we're still feeling means you'll likely see Creole tomatoes in your grocery store longer. Ranatza said you can expect to see them until we get a frost.

"This is the longest I've ever gone with Creole tomatoes, we've been picking them since the first of November and it's come all the way now to after New Year's. The longest I ever had them before that was about the 22nd, 23rd of December," he said.

We asked Fox 8 Meteorologist Shelby Latino about that.

"So, farmers absolutely love when it's a little bit warmer, and this year played right into that because it was the warmest year on record in Southeast Louisiana, and that obviously does good for some of the crops," Latino said.

And for you, that may just mean more for your money at the grocery store.

"More value for their money because they're getting this big cauliflower for $3.99 as opposed to getting that little bitty California seller cauliflower for $4-something, and they're getting double or triple the cauliflower. Even if they don't eat it all, they still made out because they got this gigantic cauliflower," Ranatza said.

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